Is Gary O’Neil the right man for Bournemouth?

Can he keep Bournemouth afloat?

Jack Evans
13th December 2022
Image: Twitter @afcbournemouth
Following a decent run of form as caretaker manager, Gary O’Neil was recently announced as Bournemouth’s permanent boss. 

O'Neil recently signed an 18-month contract after 12 games as interim manager following Scott Parker’s sacking at the end of August. The man has seen his side recover their season somewhat after a poor start, a start which included a 9-0 defeat away at Liverpool.  

In these 12 games, the Cherries have won four, drawn four and lost four, giving them a sense of consistency going into the World Cup break. The side have also improved in-front of goal, scoring 12 goals in their last three games, something which is always important when in a relegation battle. 

They currently sit three points above the relegation zone

They currently sit 14th in the league, three points above the relegation zone, which is good reading for fans after many expected them to go down with a whimper following their promotion from the Championship last season. 

Regarding O’Neil’s appointment as permanent manager, many Bournemouth fans were happy with the appointment, with him having been a fan favourite coach prior to him becoming caretaker boss. Many outside the club were surprised by the decision however, as this is his first job in professional management. 

O’Neil’s lack of experience could potentially prove a problem in the long run for Bournemouth, with them likely to be embroiled in a relegation battle come the last quarter of the season. The club had also spoken to Marcelo Bielsa, who’s still out of a job since leaving Leeds last season. 

Despite what some people think, Bournemouth’s chief executive Neill Blake has said that O’Neil has done a “brilliant job” and that the club is “delighted to make his position as head coach permanent”. O’Neil’s first match back as permanent manager is an EFL Cup tie away at Newcastle on December 21st

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